Waiver Wire Pickups Week 4
Welcome to the Week 4 Waiver Wire, where I’ll highlight the players you need to recover from your 0-3 start, of which two losses were by less than one point. (I’m not bitter.) Regardless of how your team has performed so far, we’re only three weeks into the season and there’s plenty of time to get your team into playoff position. The good news is there are a few running backs this week who could be league winners. If you are 0-3, bid aggressively on them! In fact, bid on all three. If roster space is limited, choose the same player to drop on all three claims, increasing your odds of landing one of them. I’ll put a suggested bid, as always, but don’t be afraid to go higher if you think you need to. I’m only listing players who are rostered on fewer than 50% of Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions- FAAB Bid $3
43% Yahoo, 2% ESPN
Let’s be clear, Goff is not a league winner, but he’s not going to hurt your team if you’re in need of a quarterback. He’s averaging over 18 fantasy points a game and has thrown for seven touchdowns. Goff has a favorable matchup next week against Seattle, so if you’re a QB streamer, he’ll be one of the top options.
Minimum Bid QBs to Consider:
- Eli Manning, NY Giants
- Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
- Cooper Rush, Dallas Cowboys
- Daniel Jones, NY Giants
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions- FAAB Bid $50
For the second week in a row, Williams has led the Lions’ backfield in carries. Just as importantly, he’s getting the large majority of red zone rushes and has four rushing touchdowns. D’Andre Swift has been dealing with an ankle injury and it appears he will miss some time. However, Williams appears to have taken over the early down/short yardage role even with Swift active. This makes him the top waiver add of the week, pending Dalvin Cook’s status.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings- FAAB Bid $20-ALL OF IT
We all know Mattison is one of the top handcuffs in fantasy football, which is why I was surprised to find he’s available in 62% of ESPN leagues. After Dalvin Cook exited Sunday’s game against Detroit with a shoulder injury, Mattison stepped in and rushed for a touchdown. It’s unclear as I write this whether Cook will miss time or not. NFL Insider Tom Pelissero tweeted this Sunday evening.
#Vikings RB Dalvin Cook’s shoulder dislocated again today, as it has in the past, and he'll be OK, per sources.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 25, 2022
Either way, make the bid on Mattison. If Cook plays next week, I’d bid about $20. If Cook misses one game and you’re 0-3, bid $50. If Cook goes on IR, bid everything you have! Borrow money if you have to! That’s what in-laws are for.
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears- FAAB Bid $25
46% Yahoo, 26% ESPN
Herbert took over the Bears backfield after David Montgomery sustained a leg injury and rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Now, Houston is an easy matchup, so you can’t expect that kind of production every week from Herbert, but he is averaging over 7 yards a carry this season. The next two weeks against the Giants and Vikings are favorable for Bears rushers. The question is whether Montgomery will be available to play in those games. Early reports list him “day to day”, but even if he does return next week, the coaches can’t ignore Herbert’s production.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals- FAAB Bid $10
5% Yahoo, 4% ESPN
The theme at running back this week is handcuffs who are in a position to take over the lead rushing role. Don’t worry Joe Mixon fans, he’s ready to roll Thursday night, but if we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that high-value backups can save a fantasy team. Perine fits that description, and if Mixon does miss time this year, Perine could be the answer to your prayers.
Minimum Bid RBs to Consider:
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers- FAAB Bid $7
23% Fan Duel, 15% ESPN
Doubs made the most of his opportunity with Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson out. Doubs led the Packers in target and receptions. With Watkins hitting the IR, Doubs becomes an integral part of the Packers passing offense. With such a thin receiving corp, there will plenty of opportunities for targets for the rookie going forward.
Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- FAAB Bid $6
In a game where Tampa Bay was without their top three receivers, Russell Gage performed like a WR1, catching 12 of 13 targets and scoring a touchdown. Gage won’t see those kind of numbers often, but as long as Julio Jones and Chris Godwin are out, he’s a solid option for fantasy teams.
Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals- FAAB Bid $5
14% Yahoo, 6% ESPN
Don’t look now, but Greg Dortch is an every week WR3/Flex play in 12 team leagues. He’s currently 10th in the league with 20 receptions and his 87% catch rate is 2nd best in the league among wide receivers with at least 10 targets. The slot receiver has made a strong case to continue starting once Rondale Moore returns from his injury.
Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars- FAAB Bid $5
10% Yahoo, 8% ESPN
Jones is quietly tied for 12th in the league in receptions and is getting 33% of the Bills red zone targets. Consistent targets and touchdown upside make him starter worthy in 12 team leagues.
Joshua Palmer, LA Chargers- FAAB Bid $5
26% Yahoo, 37% ESPN
Palmer leads the Chargers in targets and receptions. In two games without Keenan Allen, he’s been targeted 17 times. Until Allen returns, Palmer should be considered a WR2. He’s a sell high candidate if you already have him, but he’s worth an add if you can get off the waiver wire.
Minimum Bid WRs to Consider:
- Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
- Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Raiders
- Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
- DeVante Parker, New England Patriots
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns- FAAB Bid $20
Njoku is Pro Football Focus’ third-ranked TE behind Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce. He’s 4th in routes run per game, but until this week, he wasn’t getting many targets. His numbers through three games aren’t especially impressive, but he’s getting elite usage and undoubtedly will work his way into TE1 territory. If you’re in need of a TE, bid aggressively on Njoku.
Tyler Conklin, NY Jets- FAAB Bid $8
19% Yahoo, 10% ESPN
Conklin is second among tight ends in receptions. While analysts concur his targets and receptions make him a worthy addition, many have commented on his inefficiency. I would argue against that. According to 4for4.com, Conklin ranks first in RACR, (receiver air conversion ratio calculated as receiving yards divided by air yards), which is a testament to his ability to concert air yards into actual yards. The inefficiency misconception allows Conklin to fly under the radar a bit. The only issue is whether his production will continue once Zach Wilson returns in week 4 or 5. I’m willing to take the risk and pay up for Conklin.
Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals- FAAB Bid $2
21% Yahoo, 26% ESPN
After getting 15 targets in the first two games, Hurst only had 2 in a prime matchup against the Jets Sunday. That’s a bit concerning, so I would view Hurst only as a streamer until he shows more consistency.
Minimum Bid TEs to Consider:
- Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers
- Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints
I don’t recommend using waiver claims or FAAB money to claim defense or kickers. If you stream either position, wait until after waivers run and pick one up for free.
Doug Burrell is a lifelong NFL fan and has been playing fantasy football for over 25 years. He specializes in auction drafts and has been ranked in the top 1% of Yahoo owners since 2014. He enjoys breaking down advanced statistics and complicated game theory into easy, actionable steps that even novice players can use to gain an edge over the competition.
Doug is a veteran, an avid runner, and works as a copywriter. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.